Patrick Vieira has praised the opening of St. George’s Park – England’s new 330-acre national Football centre. However, the former Arsenal Captain insists the next step is to drastically improve the standards of English coaching if the quality of football is to meet continental standards.
St. George’s Park, costing £105million, will be home to 24 representative England teams and provide them with 12 outdoor pitches, a multi-sport indoor facility, and a state-of-the-art sports medicine rehabilitation and performance training centre.
Discussions for a ‘home’ of English football have been ongoing since 1975, and in planning since 2001.
“Finally they did something, because if you look at all the big nations, they all have their own house,” said Vieira, who is currently a Development Executive at Manchester City.
The centre will also focus on developing English coaches; something which Vieira believes is integral to improving the quality of English youth prospects.
“For a big country like England, with the number of kids who love the game, you don’t produce enough talent.
“I strongly believe one of the reasons is the coaches. They need to review how to coach the kids from eight-years-old to 21.”
The F.A. hopes that the combination of the Elite player performance plan, Future Game strategy, and the opening of St. George’s Park will set a change in footballing culture in England.
“The people running the English game realised they are far behind other countries, that something is wrong in the system, and they are trying to make it work,” added Vieira.